Course Unit


Cancer genetics and biology for mathematical modelling and analysis

Unit Coordinator: Alessandra Tessitore, Daria Capece
Programme: Erasmus Mundus
ECTS Credits: 6
Semester: 1
Year: 2
Campus: University of L'Aquila
Language: English

Tumor initiation, progression and invasion are complex processes involving multiple and different phenomena. Mathematical models and computer simulations can help to describe, schematize and comprehend them, but a multidisciplinary approach is fundamental to reach this goal. The main objective of this course is to approach and understand the biological processes at the base of cancer, focusing on the most significant features of oncogenesis, with the aim to provide basic information which can be applied to mathematical modelling.

  • Hallmarks of cancer: maintenance of proliferative signaling and replicative immortality, growth suppression and apoptosis evasion, neo-angiogenesis induction, invasion and metastasis promotion.
  • Tumor classification.
  • Fundamentals about the structure and the role of nucleic acids and proteins.
  • Genetic and epigenetic mechanism at the base of oncogenesis (gene mutations, DNA damage repair system failure, methylation, microRNA dysregulation).
  • Mechanisms of angiogenesis.
  • Mechanisms of invasion and metastasis.
  • Molecular pathways regulating cell differentiation, proliferation, survival and interactions among them.
  • Big data in cancer analysis.
  • Personalized therapy in cancer.
  • Synopsis of cancer mathematical models for understanding tumor biology and predicting/optimizing therapy.


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InterMaths Network
A network of 12 European Universities, coordinated by Department of Information Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics (DISIM) at University of L'Aquila in Italy (UAQ)